185055 Impact of the Hyde Amendment and the campaign to repeal Hyde

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:30 AM

Toni Bond Leonard , African American Women Evolving, Chicago, IL
Women of color, poor women, immigrant women, and young women are all denied their human rights by the Hyde Amendment and other laws that ban public funding for abortion. Every year, thousands of women are unable to obtain abortions because they cannot pay for the procedure. Thousands more must sacrifice food for their families, clothing, rent, and utilities in order to come up with the money for an abortion.

In 1973, when abortion was first made legal in the United States, low-income women who received health care through the Medicaid program were covered for abortion along with other basic health care. In that first year of legalized abortion, federal Medicaid paid for almost half of all abortions performed in the United States (270,000 out of a total of 615,800).

Just three years later, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, banning Medicaid coverage of abortion. Since that time, federal Medicaid has covered virtually no abortions. The majority of states have also banned coverage.

Toni Bond Leonard, President of African American Women Evolving and Board President of the National Network of Abortion Funds, will explain how the Hyde Amendment and other funding bans harm women of color, low-income women, immigrant women, and young women. She will present strategies for restoring Medicaid coverage of abortion, including models of mobilizing women and allies and conducting state campaigns to protest illegal Medicaid denials. She will also discuss national campaigns and the daily work of abortion funds to provide direct financial assistance for abortion to women around the country.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the impact of abortion funding restrictions on low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, and young women. 2. Discuss state and national advocacy efforts to restore public funding for abortion. 3. Describe the work and role of grassroots abortion funds in reducing financial barriers to abortion.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a member of the board of the National Network of Abortion Funds since 1994 and currently serve as President. I am the co-founder and President/CEO of African American Women Evolving (AAWE). Prior to that, I served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) for seven years. I am well-respected for my unique insights around organizing, women of color, and reproductive health, and have been a speaker at numerous national and international conferences in the U.S. and South Africa. In February 2004, I received the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for Public Advocacy from the Tides Foundation for my reproductive rights organizing work at the state and local levels.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.